02 Sep

Green leaf production by factories affiliated to Kenya Tea Development Agency have recorded an increase by 28.5 per cent for the year ended June 30.

Total production was 1.448 billion kilograms compared to 1.127 billion kilograms the previous year.

In a statement sent on Thursday, KTDA attributed the increase to continued favourable weather across tea-growing regions and improved crop husbandry practices among tea farmers.

This is also attributed the growth to farmers who have resumed delivering crop to their factories due to better payments and services.

“This growth came amid a tumultuous second half of the year that saw global tea prices plummet on the back of product oversupply in the market as well as disruptions occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic," KTDA said.

There has been a reduced demand for tea across markets as well as the restrictions on movement of goods and services across the world at the start of the pandemic, KTDA notes.

During the financial year 2019/2020, KTDA sold teas fetched an average Sh260 per kilo, a 6.8 per cent drop from the average Sh278 per kilo it sold the previous year.

This is the lowest KTDA average price since 2008 when the average price per kilo of tea at the auction was Sh233.

"In the last three auctions for the year ended June 2020, the average price for a kilo of tea at the auction dropped below Sh215, a scenario last seen in 2007,” said KTDA.

India and Sri Lanka have also reported a drop in prices due to oversupply and the disruption in the industry.

The 54 tea factory companies, which own the 69 factories that are managed by KTDA, will proceed to close their financial books for the year and also declare the final payment to each of their tea factory farmers.

Source: The Star